Remote work has had a revolutionary impact on the work world. For employees, this has translated to flexible schedules and work-from-home environments. Working in sweat pants and avoiding commutes rank as some of the highest benefits that have come with the remote work movement.
For employers, the impact has been a bit different — though still positive. Of particular note, business owners have been able to cash in on a powerful aspect of the remote work concept: tapping into a larger talent pool. By operating a virtual workspace and hiring remote workers, employers have opened up the doors to access talent from anywhere in the world.
As with all business opportunities, this comes with plenty of risk and reward. Here’s what you need to know if you’re hiring remote workers, especially across international borders.
Pay Attention to Payroll and Compliance
Some of the biggest concerns with hiring a global workforce revolve around payroll and compliance. Every country has its own set of rules and regulations that must be taken into consideration.
For instance, if you hire a full-time employee working out of Argentina, you’ll need to keep certain factors in mind. Argentina has its own minimum wage and overtime pay rules. It also operates with a 13th-month salary and requires certain statutory benefits.
One great way to stay ahead of these regulations is by finding a lawyer or accountant that you can trust to help guide you through the process. You can also do your own research. For instance, you can check out Remote’s Country Explorer to get a better idea of payroll and compliance in a country you’re thinking of hiring in.
Stay Mindful of Cultural Differences
Another major point of consideration in the global employment conversation is cultural diversity. This is a common theme in many modern workspaces. But when you hire employees from other countries, the ethnic differences can grow exponentially.
For example, some cultures tend to communicate directly while others will avoid confrontation. Greetings can be different from one culture to the next. Even things like workday structure and idiomatic phrasing can create dissonance in the workplace.
It’s important to cultivate a company culture that can handle the variations in your global workforce. If you create a workplace atmosphere that is welcoming of change, you set yourself up to benefit from the different perspectives within your staff.
Embrace an Asynchronous Work Environment
Collaboration and meetings are two more areas that have had to adapt to remote work. Both of these activities are traditionally founded on being in close proximity to one another.
If you want to steer into the global employment explosion, you need to tailor your work environment to operate in an asynchronous manner at times.
There are several ways that you can do this. For instance, you can resist micromanaging. It’s difficult to micromanage in person. Remotely, it becomes impossible — and that’s a good thing. Adopt a management philosophy that empowers your employees and encourages them to take responsibility.
It’s also a good idea to set clear expectations and measurable KPIs. That way, everyone can remain focused on the same endpoint, even if you aren’t working in the same space or window of time.
Even when it comes to meetings, you can work around the need to align schedules and locations. An asynchronous meeting format utilizes a communication channel like email or Trello. This way, everyone can chime in over a period of time without needing to be present at any particular moment.
Remember to Support Your Employees
So far we’ve covered things like virtual work infrastructure, cultural sensitivity, and compliance concerns. Two more areas that are easy to overlook, though, are the emotional and mental components of the workplace.
It’s easy for remote workers to feel isolated and alone. It doesn’t matter if your workers are located on the other side of your city or across the globe. If they’re holed up in their bedrooms and home offices, their morale can begin to atrophy over time.
Make sure to keep your employee’s emotional and mental health a priority. Maintain virtual workspaces where everyone can interact.
It’s also a good idea to reach out to each employee on a one-on-one basis from time to time. Make sure they have everything they need and encourage them to voice their concerns and opinions.
This doesn’t just help keep your team connected. It also ensures that your employees are caring for their mental and emotional health while working in isolation.
The global employment boom is just beginning. The coronavirus pandemic ignited a fire under the remote work movement that has created employment opportunities that were unforeseen just a few short years ago.
As companies great and small move to take advantage of this new opportunity, though, it’s important that they do so with care. Logistics such as compliance, payroll, and workplace infrastructure should be clearly established. In addition, employee support and cultural sensitivity must be embraced.
If areas like these can be addressed from the beginning, it can set the stage for successful global employment far into the future.